By YULEE KIM
There are a number of advantages in college life, and one of them is that students can easily gain access to specialized courses of interest and diverse experiences. One way students at UTokyo can access these special learning experiences on campus is to participate in seminars, which are lectures and discussions about independent research or practical experience in one’s specialized field. The University of Tokyo holds numerous seminars, many of which are listed on the University of Tokyo event page website. There is everything from an Algebra seminar by a MIT professor, to Tokyo Carbon conferences. Chances are you’ll find something that matches your interest.
Seminar flyer in Komaba campus classroom. Photo by author.
Why are seminars important?
Of course, students can attend seminars for the pure purpose of increasing their knowledge and fulfilling their intellectual curiosity, but for junior division students, these events may be particularly useful in deciding a major since UTokyo students apply for a major after finishing a 2-year liberal arts curriculum. There are many students who wonder whether their choice in major is the right one. In such case, attending the UTokyo seminars may help students to experience various majors.
Students can participate in a variety of seminars, regardless of their major or interests. You can directly attend various classes from linear algebra lecture by MIT professor to business seminar such as Tokyo Carbon Conference.
This year, Han, a PEAK Environmental Science student, attended a seminar by Dr. Carl Wieman, who is a professor at Stanford and received the Nobel Prize. Because it was held at Komaba, all students were able to attend the seminar easily.
Dr. Wieman gave a lecture about ways to teach physics more efficiently. The Nobel prize-winning professor brought his own experiment results to explain his own teaching methods. Not only UTokyo students but also professors from PEAK environmental sciences actively engaged in Dr. Wieman’s lecture. Han said “the lecture was very useful and application method was not difficult.”
UTokyo seminar provides various opportunities to participate in not only academic seminars but also business seminars that the company has actually conducted within their own business: The Tokyo Carbon Conference was held in Hongo Campus. Japanese company Toshiba invested in African countries within the project GO Thermoenergy in Africa. It was not an academic seminar for GO Thermoenergy, but rather about business trends. Han remarked that attending various seminars, from academic to business, is definitely an opportunity to expand her knowledge.
How to Apply For UTokyo Seminars
UTokyo website event page.
Seminars are open in varying degrees. There are also many flyers around the campus. Many UTokyo’s seminars accept not only students but also members of the public. Capacity always varies, from 10 to 300 people, and there are many places where seminars are held, often at the Hongo or Komaba campus, and most of the seminars are free. Seminars are usually conducted in Japanese, but English-speakers, do not worry, there are also many English seminars, too. When you set the language of the UTokyo event page in English, it is often possible to find English-language events. (http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/news/events/index.html)
The registration method is different for each seminar, but often easy via an online registration form or a simple email.